Google grabs 1 million phone numbers for Google Voice

Users have been waiting months for service to go live

Google last month reserved 1 million phone numbers with Level 3, signaling that it may finally be ready to roll out its long-anticipated Google Voice service.

The free service, announced in March, lets users unify their phone numbers, allowing them to have a single number through Google Voice that rings a call through to all their phones.

Sources could not say when the 1 million numbers may be assigned. Level 3 has been supplying Google with phone numbers since the introduction of Google Voice, so the 1 million numbers are an indication Google is close to adding a significant amount of users.

A Google spokesperson would only say "as a matter of policy, we typically do not comment on contracts with third-party technology suppliers."

A public launch has been anticipated since Google said in March the service would be "open to new users soon." There has been speculation that the service would begin today - June 18 - but Google has yet to make an announcement.

"I've only been using Google Voice for a few months, but it's completely changed the way I use voicemail and communicate, just in general," said Kevin Dando, director of digital and education communications for PBS. "When it goes public, I think the rush to grab Google Voice numbers is going to be stunning. I know some of my friends check the Google Voice page almost every day to see when they can grab a number and get started using it."

Google Voice has a number of unique features including call transfer between a user's devices, multi-party conferencing, conversion of voice calls to text messages, cut-rate international calling, and call transcription.

Google also has integrated the Voice service with Gmail contact lists.

But the gem is the fact that a user can have one phone number people can dial to reach them regardless of where they are located, either home or mobile. Google Voice uses VoIP to link collections of phone numbers.

Google Voice is a product of Google's March 2007 acquisition of GrandCentral. For the past two years, however, it appeared the GrandCentral technology had been tossed into a black hole.

But on March 11, Google announced Google Voice and opened the service up only to former GrandCentral users.

Last week, TechCrunch reported that Google would add number portability later this year to Google Voice, which would let users keep one of their existing phone numbers as their Google Voice number. For example, users could make their cell phone number their Google Voice number.

The feature is significant because switching to a new Google Voice number comes with a cost such as having to distribute the new number to friends and family. In addition, outbound calls and text messages show the phone number you are calling from and not your Google Voice number.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags google voice

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?